Fri | Jul 3, 2020

Report those rogues - Rent Restriction Board ready to act against landlords who ban children

Published:Friday | January 4, 2019 | 12:00 AM
From left: Rose Bennett-Cooper, chair of the Rent Assessment Board; Authrine Scarlett, senior director for housing management, Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation; Patricia Ramsaran, legal officer in the ministry, listen to Vincent Haldane, senior director, Land Administration Unit in the ministry, during a public consultation on the amendments to the Rent Restriction Act last year.

Persons who have been denied opportunities to rent properties because they have children are not seeking redress by reporting the discrimination to the Rent Assessment Board of Jamaica.

The board was established to provide a framework for the business of renting properties, and to resolve the disputes that arise between landlords and tenants. It is quasi-judicial in its proceedings and has similar powers to that of a parish court to ensure that all parties act in accordance with the Rent Restriction Act.

But despite several allegations of landlords ignoring the law by refusing to rent to persons with children, Authrine Scarlett, senior director for housing management in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, told The Sunday Gleaner that the Rent Assessment Board has not received any such report.




According to Scarlett, there are steps in place for the board to take action if it receives any such report.

"Both the landlord and the tenant would be informed of their respective rights and responsibilities based on the provisions of Section 4A of the Rent Restriction Act.

"The landlord would also be advised of the implications if this section of the act is contravened," said Scarlett.

She added that the board conducts outreach programmes across the island from time to time to educate and inform landlords and tenants about their rights and responsibilities.